What Is Bursitis?
Bursitis is a painful condition that occurs when a bursa becomes irritated or inflamed. Throughout the body, there are more than 150 bursae, many of which are located near joints. These small, fluid-filled sacs serve as cushions between bones, muscles, and tendons, helping to reduce friction during movement.
The most common cause of bursitis is repetitive joint motion. The resulting pain may come on suddenly or develop gradually. Certain joints, such as the shoulders, elbows, hips, knees, and feet, are especially prone to overuse and therefore more likely to be affected by bursitis. For instance, pressure caused by prolonged sitting may irritate the bursae on the outer side of the hip joint. An affected joint may feel achy and stiff and appear swollen and red.
How Is Bursitis Treated?
The goals of bursitis treatment are to reduce inflammation, relieve pain, increase mobility, and prevent a recurrence. In many cases, effective results can be achieved with a combination of rest, heat and ice applications, and splinting. If further treatment is needed, some options include:
- Physical therapy, including stretching and strengthening exercises
- Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and naproxen
- Corticosteroid injections, which place a powerful anti-inflammatory medication directly into a swollen and painful bursa
In many cases, bursitis resolves within a few weeks, although recurrent flare-ups are common. To address severe symptoms that do not respond to conservative treatment, surgery may be suggested to drain or remove an inflamed bursa.
An Orthopedic Specialist Can Help
If you’re experiencing bursitis symptoms that are interfering with your daily routine, you are encouraged to request an appointment with Peter D. Vizzi, M.D., a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who practices in Lafayette, Louisiana. Dr. Vizzi can guide you through your treatment options and provide advice on how to prevent your condition from recurring. Contact us today.